LaVan Three at the Horn in OT Sends Keystone to State Playoffs for First Time in Nine Years

| February 27, 2019

RIMERSBURG, Pa. (D9Sports) – Brooks LaVan’s 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime sent the Keystone Panthers into the state playoffs for the first time in nine years and left Karns City stunned with a 58-56 win in the D9 2A consolation game.

(Photo: Brooks LaVan nailed the game-winning 3-pointer at the horn in overtime Tuesday to send Keystone to PIAA playoffs for the first time in nine years. Photo by Mary Rearick)

“You could tell that when the ball left his hand that it was going in,” Keystone head coach Greg Heath. “Brooks has got the rhythm, and he was not at all phased by that moment. I was glad that Isaak Jones was able to find him.”

Talk about taking victory from the hands of defeat.

Trailing by one with 20 seconds to play Keystone fouled Chase Beighley putting him on the line in the double bonus.

However, Beighley, who dropped 20 points in the game missed both free-throws giving the Panthers a shot at the win.

Following a timeout, Dawson Steele drove inside and put up a layup shot that came up short.

Grabbing the loose ball, Isaak Jones was able to find LaVan open who made no mistake and sent the crowd into a frenzy.

“I feel for the Karns City kids,” said Heath. “I know what it’s like to lose a game like that, but I’m so happy and proud for our kids right now.”

Troy Johnson led the Panthers with 16 points while LaVan chipped in with 11 and Steele with 12.

“Ultimately, it came down to who executed better,” said Karns City head coach Chris Bellis. “We did a great job in the first half of defending, but at the end, at that moment they got an offensive rebound and hit the shot. You have to get close-out rebounds when it matters, and they executed better than us at the end.”

The game was every bit as close as the final score indicated as the two teams traded haymakers throughout the night.

“Both teams played very hard, and that is the way the first two games played out,” said Heath. “Tonight it was just a case of win or go home.”

Karns City had it’s own heroics to send the game into overtime when Austin Fahlor hit a game-tying trey with one second to play in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 47.

Both Fahlor and Beighley scored 20 points to lead all scores.

“Chase and Austin both did greats jobs tonight,” said Bellis. “Chase came alive in the third quarter to get us back in the game, and Austin’s 3-pointer was huge to send it into overtime. We were just one rebound away tonight.”

Karns City held a slim 10-9 lead after a quarter. But the Panthers rallied behind Andrew Lauer who all seven of his points in the second quarter including a 3-point play to close out the first half with Keystone leading 22-17.

The Gremlins didn’t help their cause turning the ball over 23 times.

“Obviously if you take care of the ball, you’re going to be more successful,” said Bellis. “For the most part we’ve done that this year, but not tonight.”

Neither team led by more than eight points the entire game with the Panthers gaining an 8-point lead in the third quarter only to see Karns City rally behind Beighley who scored 11 in the quarter, to go ahead by one at the end of the third quarter.

“If these teams played 10 times each team would win five games,” said Heath. “That is how close, and even these teams are. Both games prior this year were very close. This has become a very close and competitive rivalry.”

The Panthers will now advance into the state playoffs to face the District 10 runner up.

“The atmosphere tonight was great, but they executed a little better than we did,” Bellis concluded. “I’m proud of my kids. We had a solid season.”

Keystone, which is in the PIAA playoffs for the first time since qualifying in Class 1A in 2010, will take on the second-place team out of District 10, either Farrell or Wilmington, in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs Saturday, March 9, at a District 10 site to be announced.

Keystone 58 Karns City 56

Score by Quarters

Keystone – 9 13 13 12 11 – 58
Karns City – 10 7 19 11 9 – 56

Keystone – Troy Johnson 4 6-11 16, Isaak Jones 2 2-2 6, Dawson Steele 5 2-4 12, Andrew Lauer 3 0-1 7, Brooks LaVan 4 0-0 11, Brandon Kapp 1 0-1 2, Luke Hurrelbrink 1 0-0 2, Max Thompson 0 0-0 0, Alex Rapp 0 0-0 0, Connor Exley 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 10-17 58.

Karns City – Austin Fahlor 7 3-5 20, Erik Pfeifer 0 0-0 0, Chase Beighley 5 7-11 20, Ethan McElroy 2 0-0 9, Nathan Waltman 1 5-6 7, Luke Garing 0 0-0 0, Josh Wimer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 15-22 56.

Three-pointers: Keystone – LaVan 3, Lauer, Johnson 2. Karns City – McElroy 3, Beighley 4 Fahlor 3.

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